Opera at USC to perform ‘An Evening of One Acts’
Opera at USC will perform classic Spanish pieces “La Dolorosa” by Jose Serrano and “Goyescas” by Enrique Granados for its final concert of the spring Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10.
“An Evening of One Acts,” set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the University of South Carolina School of Music recital hall, is free and open to the public.
“La Dolorosa” is a Spanish lyrical drama, or zarzuela, presented in an abridged format. This adaptation is by world-renowned zarzuela expert Christopher Webber and was commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera Education Department. “La Dolorosa” premiered at the Teatro Apolo in Valencia in 1930 with text by J.J. Lorente. The story is set in and about a monastery outside the city of Zaragoza. A young monk, Rafael, is painting a dolorosa, a work of art that inspires many memories for him. The depth and emotion of those memories is such that the monastery leader begins to doubt the young brother’s aptitude for the monastic life.
“Goyescas,” written in 1915, is the product of inspiration by the art of Francesco Goya. Granados composed the opera with melodies taken from his 1911 piano suite, also called “Goyescas.” Although commissioned by the Paris opera, the outbreak of World War I prevented the work from being staged. The opera premiered at the Metropolitan Opera on Jan. 28, 1916. Both Granados and his wife perished when the ship Sussex was torpedoed by a German submarine en route to Spain from the premier in New York.
Opera director Ellen Schlaefer says this is a great opportunity for the students to explore the art of Spanish lyrical drama.
“We’re excited about having this opportunity for our students to discover Spanish operatic literature, including zarzuela,” she said. “Having some of the work of the artist Francesco Goya as the basis for the second opera is wonderful, as it allows exploration into another art form.”
Performing in the opera will be graduate students Michael Gray, Ginger Jones, Krista Firkus and John Pritchard; undergraduates John Callison and Nicole Caudill; and guest artist Evan Broadhead, a 2008 USC graduate.
For more information, contact Ellen Schlaefer, director of opera, at firstname.lastname@example.org.